Julie Italy 11 Comments

Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) is one of the most popular places to visit in the Dolomites. This crystal-clear aquamarine lake, with its dramatic mountainous backdrop, easy walking trail, and rowboats, has long been attracting visitors. Recently, it has become even more famous, since it is the filming site for an Italian TV show, Un Passo dal Cielo.

If you plan on spending a few days in the Dolomites, you may be wondering if Lago di Braies is worth it. In this guide, we answer this question, and cover what you need to know about how to visit Lago di Braies.

There have been some major changes to how visitors can access the lake, and we cover the details later in this guide.

Where is Lago di Braies?

Lago di Braies is located in the Italian Dolomites, within the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park. Here are driving distances and times from nearby destinations:

  • Cortina d’Ampezzo: 46 km, 1 hour
  • Selva di Val Gardena: 84 km, 2 hours
  • Selva di Cadore: 74 km, 1.5 hours
  • Venice: 205 km, 3 hours

How Do You Get to Lago di Braies?

The easiest way to get to Lago di Braies is to drive here. Just be aware that there are vehicle restrictions from July 10 through September 10 to reduce the amount of traffic and visitors to Pragser Tal Valley during the busy summer season. We cover this in more detail later in this guide (or skip ahead now).

Lago di Braies Rowboats

Lago di Braies

Parking at Lago di Braies

There are several parking lots for Lago di Braies.

Note: These parking numbers are taken from the official website and do not correspond with the same labeling on Google Maps. 

P3 is a large parking lot located close to Lago di Braies. From here it is about a 4-to-5-minute walk to the lake (this is where we parked). There is a small fee to park here.

There is a closer lot (P4) but it is my understanding that this lot is for those staying in the Lago di Braies hotel.

P2 is located about 800 meters from Lago di Braies. From here it is about a 10-minute walk to the lake.

P1 is located 5.5 km from Lago di Braies. From this lot, ride bus 439 to Lago di Braies (about 20 minutes, possible from July 10 through September 10).

You can also get to Lago di Braies using public transportation.

Bus 442 connects Lago di Braies with Toblach/Dobbiaco. Here is the timetable

During the period of vehicle restrictions (July 10 through September 10), there is also a bus that runs from Welsberg/Monguelfo (bus 439) to Lago di Braies. Learn more here (under the Frequently Asked Section). 

Lago di Braies Parking

Lago di Braies parking lot

Parking Regulations at Lago di Braies

If you plan to visit Lago di Braies in the summer, this is the most important thing to know before you go.

Due to the increased popularity of the lake, there are now parking regulations for the summer months.

In 2024, from July 10 through September 10, between 9:00 am and 4 pm, you cannot drive through the Pragser Tal Valley and park at Lago di Braies. During this time, you will have to park 5 km from the lake and use public transportation to get to the lake. You are also allowed to bike or walk through the valley to get to Lago di Braies.

You are permitted to drive to Lago di Braies between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm if you make a reservation in advance. Learn more here. 

We visited Lago di Braies on July 10, the first day of the regulations. We arrived at Pragser Tal Valley at 8:30 am so we were permitted to drive and park at the lake. Later in the day, as we exited the Pragser Tal Valley around noon, officials were stopping vehicle traffic to the lake.

So, you are permitted to drive to Lago di Braies before 9:00 am and after 4:00 pm. Or, make a vehicle reservation in advance or plan on using public transportation to get to Lago di Braies.

Lago di Braies in July

Setting Your Expectations

Lago di Braies is one of the most popular destinations in the Dolomites. Recently, crowd control measures have been put into place during the busy summer months, in order to limit the number of people who visit this lake.

Talking to the staff at rowboat rental office, the busiest times to visit Lago di Braies is between 10 and 3 pm. During this time, do not expect a quiet, tranquil experience. Rowboats may be sold out and the trail that circles the lake will be quite busy.

We visited Lago di Braies on July 10, arriving at 8:30 am. The parking lots were filling fast but the lake still felt relatively empty. We had no issue renting a rowboat and during our visit, rowboats were available all morning, until we left around noon. However, I have heard other reports of rowboats selling out by mid-morning.

If you plan to visit Lago di Braies, I recommend that you get here as early as possible, not only to have at least an hour or two when it is less busy, but to also avoid the 9 am cutoff time to drive to the lake (summer months only).

Best Things to Do at Lago di Braies

#1 Photograph the Rowboats

If you arrive early in the morning (9 am or earlier) you can photograph the lines of rowboats lined up at the dock. These photos below were taken at 9 am.

Lago di Braies

#2 Rent a Rowboat and Explore the Lake

Rowboats can be rented for 45 minutes at the boat dock (this cannot be done online in advance). Midday in the summer, waits for a rowboat can be up to an hour and a half.

Rental Season: Late May through late November
Operating Hours: 8 am to 7 pm during the summer, reduced hours during the other months
Price: €50 for 45 minutes for a private rowboat; €15 per person for a shared rowboat for 30 minutes, max 5 people

Tim Rivenbark

Lago di Braies Photos

We spent an hour on the lake, each taking a turn rowing the boat. It’s harder than it looks, if you haven’t done something like this before. We were all very good at just rowing in circles, despite trying our best to make a straight path. We travel with a GPS device (for hiking) and Tim had it logging our route on the lake…it’s a very funny path of circles and zig-zagging lines, since we all had a hard time rowing in a straight line.

#3 Sunrise Boat Experience

During the summer months, you can reserve a rowboat for a sunrise photo session on the lake. This can be booked online in advance. Learn more here.

#4 Visit the Chapel on the Lake

Sitting next to Lago di Braies is Cappella “Lago di Braies.” This small church is another popular photography spot at the lake.

Lago di Braies Church

#5 Walk the Path around Lago di Braies

Distance: 3.7 km (2.3 miles) loop
Difficulty: Easy
Total Ascent: 100 meters (330 feet)
Length of Time: 1.5 to 2 hours

One of the best things to do at Lago di Braies is to walk the path that circles the lake. Since it is a loop, it can be done in either direction. I don’t think one way is necessarily better than the other. We hiked the trail in a clockwise direction.

Here are photos taken from the trail:

Pragser Wildsee Hike

Lago di Braies Photo Italy

Lago di Braies Hike

Hikes in the Dolomites

Dolomites Lake

Looking back towards the boathouse from the far end of the lake.


Pragser Wildsee

Trail along the far end of the lake.



Lakes in the Dolomites

#6 Hike One of the Trails That Starts at Lago di Braies

In addition to the easy path that circles the lake, several other longer, more challenging trails start at the lake and head high into the mountains.

The Alta Via hiking trail starts at Lago di Braies and ends 120 km later at Belluno. This is done as a mult-day trek.

Croda del Becco (Seekofel) is the mountain that forms the backdrop of Lago di Braies. The trail to the top of Croda del Becco starts on the far side of the lake (from the boat dock). It is a 15 km out-and-back strenuous hike that takes 6 to 8 hours.

The Hochalpenkopf Peak Trail is another challenging hike that starts at the lakes and climbs high into the mountains. This 17-km loop is a challenging hike that takes 8 hours.

Dolomites Travel Guide

#7 Photograph the Lake and Boathouse

Behind the boathouse is a hill. Look for the bench that sits on this hill. From this spot, I took this photo of the lake.

Lago di Braies Boathouse

Lago di Braies boathouse

How Much Time Do You Need at Lago di Braies?

If you want to rent a rowboat and walk the loop trail, we recommend spending 3 hours at Lago di Braies. This is about how much time we spent here. We rented a rowboat first and spent about 45 minutes paddling in circles around the lake. Then we walked the trail around the lake. We left the lake right before lunch. From Lago di Braies, we drove to Lago di Dobbiaco and had lunch here (just for a change in scenery and to see more of the Dolomites).

Lago di Braies Viewpoint

Viewpoint along the loop trail around Lago di Braies.

More Things to Do in the Area

Lago di Dobbiaco is another beautiful lake to visit. From Lago di Braies, it is a 25-minute drive. And it bit farther away is lovely Lago di Misurina (40 minutes from Lago di Braies).

From Rifugio Auronzo (1 hour drive from Lago di Braies) you can hike the Tre Cime di Lavaredo loop or hike to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint. Like Lago di Braies, there is limited parking at Rifugio Auronzo and midday you could have trouble getting a parking space. But it is possible to get to Rifugio Auronzo using public transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit Lago di Braies?

There is no entrance fee to visit Lago di Braies. However, you will have to pay a parking fee (the fee depends on the lot and the time of year you visit) and if you plan to rent a rowboat, that is an additional cost (€50 for 45 minutes).

Is Lago di Braies worth it?

Lago di Braies is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites and it is worth the visit. Just be aware of the restrictions for driving to Lago di Braies in the summer months. If you are a photographer or traveling as a family, this lake is well worth it. It’s also perfect for those who want to do an easy, short hike in the Dolomites, without hiking one of the longer, more challenging trails that head higher into the mountains.

Can I fly a drone at Lago di Braies?

No, drones are not allowed at Lago di Braies.


Lago di Braies

Lago di Braies from the trail that loops around the lake. 

More Information about the Dolomites

In our article Best Hikes in the Dolomites, we cover 15 epic trails in the Dolomites. Which ones do you want to do?

We cover important things to know before you go and travel tips in our article How to Plan a Trip to the Dolomites. For ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites. For recommendations on where to stay, check out our Dolomites Hotel Guide. Learn how to plan your time with our Dolomites Itinerary Travel Planner.

Lago di Sorapis is a lovely aquamarine lake. Most people hike it out-and-back, but if you don’t mind a little extra climbing, follow our guide for great views of the Dolomites and a very quiet hiking trail.

Seceda is one of the most popular viewpoints in the Dolomites. Learn how to get here and where to get the best view of Seceda.

If you have any questions about how to visit Lago di Braies, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

VENICE: Learn more about Venice in our article Best Things to Do in Venice. We also have guides about How to Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, where to get the Best Views of Venice, and how to spend Two Days in Venice.

BEST OF ITALY: In our Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy

LAKE GARDA: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in Lake Garda. Learn how to plan your time with our Lake Garda Itinerary. We also have information about things to do in Sirmione and Riva del Garda.

NORTHERN ITALY: In our Northern Italy Itinerary, visit Venice, the Dolomites, Verona, Milan, and Lake Como.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe and the 20 Best Hikes in Europe.


We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.


Lago di Braies Dolomites Italy


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Comments 11

  1. Avatar for Randhir Alberts
    Randhir Alberts

    Just wanted to know if mid may is a good time to visit the Lake? We do not intend doing any hiking but just to visit a few lakes in the dolomites.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, May should a very nice time to visit the lake. I’m not sure if the rowboats will be open (you can check the official website for dates if you are interested) but you can walk around the lake and enjoy those amazing views. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Linda
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Monica

    Did any officials stop you while you exited the Pragser Tal Valley to ask you for the permit? Or Does it only applies to enter the Pragser Tal Valley? It’s because I am thinking to arrive before 8 am, so we can pay the fee for the parking but not the permit+parking that costs around 40-38 €.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      No, we did not get stopped on the way out. In our experience, by parking before 9 am, we were allowed to park without paying an additional fee. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Christopher

    Hey Julie, thanks for sharing the useful tips. How many days will you recommend for Lago di Braies? or can we do a day trip from Venice?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      You can do Lago di Braies as a very long day trip from Venice (it’s a 3 hour drive one way). A better option would be to stay at Lago di Braies or near it (Cortina d’Ampezzo or Dobbiaco) which allows you to get there early before it gets crowded. Once a Lago di Braies, you need about a half day here to see and do everything, unless you plan to do one of the long hikes that starts at the lake. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Mark

    Your pricing is out-of-date. We visited, today, May 24 2023, and the price of a row boat for 30 minutes was EUR 50, double what you mention above. At that price we gave it a miss – they are just robbing people at that price.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Thanks for writing in. It looks like they recently increased their prices for the 2023 summer season. You’re right, prices doubled since 2022. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Stay at Spa

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